In an email to Manchester’s unionized teachers, Manchester Education Association President Ben Dick announced that while the union’s executive board did not approve of the negotiated contract extension, they would, nonetheless, present it to the membership for a vote. Read the email here FIRST and ONLY on Girard at Large!
Subject: Executive Board Meeting – Follow Up
Date: Fri, 11 May 2012 19:31:23 +0000
First and foremost, I’d like to thank every one of you that attended the meeting on Monday and/or sent me an e-mail regarding the meeting. We had over 550 members at the meeting, and the leadership team and I truly appreciate your attendance.
Yesterday afternoon the Executive Board met to discuss Monday’s meeting as well as the over 50 e-mails I’ve received since then. In the end it was decided that I would go back to meet with the Mayor and Dr. Brennan to clarify and finalize some language and minor issues and then reconvene the Executive Board. While they don’t support the proposal from the district, they do support letting the membership vote on it. To that end, once the issues are ironed out, they will be voting to send it to the membership for a vote.
Once that happens we will let you know what the next step is.
Manchester Education Association
While I’m glad to see the union will present the city’s contract extension terms to its membership for a vote, I find it problematic that they will apparently do so while withholding their support.
To say “you can vote, but we don’t support it” seems a recipe for failure on multiple fronts. If the membership follows the lead of its leadership, the agreement is rejected, no additional funds are available and 161 school district employees, including 143 teachers, are without jobs.
If the teachers vote to approve the contract, even by a narrow margin, it is likely to be seen as a repudiation of the union’s leadership and continued bad PR for the union itself, though the teachers themselves will likely escape this PR black eye.
Why the union would take the negative position, instead of one that was either neutral or positive, in pursuit of a resolution is beyond me. It only makes it harder for those who are inclined to increase funding to gain the needed support.